Managing A Move For Seniors: A Guide For Caregivers
Moving can be a stressful task for many seniors, especially if they have mobility or health issues. For caregivers who are in charge of finding a new home and taking charge of moving day, the responsibility can be overwhelming. Having a good plan in place and knowing where to find resources will save you from a lot of worry however, as well as keep things neat and organized.
One of the most important things to remember is to keep the senior in your life safe and happy. Make sure they’re included in every conversation about the new home, the move, and how to make the process go smoothly; after all, this is their big day. Think about the best ways to maintain their safety before, during, and after the move and communicate your wishes to anyone who will be helping out, including the movers.
Even if the individual you’re caring for doesn’t have a huge house full of belongings, it’s best to hire professional movers for the job. Lifting heavy boxes and furniture will likely be too much for your senior to handle, and if all the work falls on you, there will be no one to care for your loved one’s needs.
For more tips on how to get through a move with a senior, read on below.
Starting with a good plan is imperative. Think about the senior’s needs in a home. For many people, buying a home after retirement means finding a place that doesn’t have stairs to contend with every day, or a big yard to take care of. It also means looking at location and pricing carefully to ensure there won’t be any issues down the road. Will your loved one be able to afford a home that’s centrally located near their doctor or nearest family member? If not, how far outside that radius can you go? Look online to get an idea of where the best price ranges are for your senior’s budget.
Ask for help
If your loved one has family members or friends who are willing to help, arrange for them to come over and assist with packing. This can be especially helpful if there are lots of sentimental items to go through, as there may be some things that can be given to children or grandchildren.
Make sure not to be pushy about giving items up; although downsizing is a common necessity for many seniors, it can be a painful experience to have to choose between their belongings, especially if the move is coming after the loss of a spouse or other big change. Be patient and let them do things at their own pace. It’s helpful to start the downsizing process as early as possible.
When packing begins, make sure you leave aside items that the senior will need before and on moving day, such as medications, important phone numbers, any paperwork they may need once they get into the new home, toiletries, bedding, and their wallet or purse. They may also need cleaning supplies to be put in a separate box if the new home hasn’t already been taken care of.
It’s also important to remember, once packing begins, to put all boxes in careful stacks and push them up against the walls or put them all into one room to avoid trip hazards.
Help the senior get settled
Moving into a new home can be overwhelming, so help your loved one get settled in by seeking out the neighbors to introduce yourselves. Also find out important info such as when trash day is and whether there are pets living nearby (which could be helpful if your loved one has a pet or is allergic). Unpack items that have emotional meaning first, such as framed photographs, and get the bedroom set up right away so they can rest when they need to.
This article was written by Hazel Bridges – an advocate of health and wellness for seniors.